It’s never the wrong time to bring this grape salad to a gathering! Plump, juicy grapes folded into a cool, creamy mixture of cream cheese and sour cream, all topped off with dark brown sugar and crunchy toasted pecans…
This creamy grape salad has been gracing tables at potlucks, cookouts, and baby showers alike for as long as I can remember. In each case, the result is always the same — an empty bowl that has been completely scraped clean. That’s how good this stuff is!
It’s easy to see why… I mean, how do you go wrong with plump, juicy grapes folded into a cool, creamy mixture of cream cheese and sour cream, all topped off with dark brown sugar and crunchy toasted pecans? Correct answer — YOU CAN’T.
As with all simple recipes like this, start with the freshest ingredients you can find for best results. Want to know a trick for picking the best bunch of grapes? Look at the vines. If they’re still green and pliable, you can bet the grapes were picked recently. If they’re dried out and turning brown, dig through the pile for a different bunch.
I like to use a combination of red and green grapes for visual appeal. You’ll need about 2-lbs. of each, and be sure to wash them really good after removing them from the vines. Grapes are on the Dirty Dozen list, so we want to remove as much residue as possible. Then dry them thoroughly before proceeding with the recipe.
How To Make Grape Salad
To make the “sauce”, simply cream together equal parts softened cream cheese and sour cream, along with a half cup of sugar and a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Pour this mixture over the grapes, and fold everything together well. Refrigerate for at least two hours, and then we’ll add the brown sugar pecan topping.
While the grape salad is chilling, it’s a good idea to go ahead and toast your chopped pecans so they can cool down. Once they’re cooled, mix them with the brown sugar with a fork. When you’re ready to serve the grape salad, top it off with the brown sugar/toasted pecans mixture.
I know what you’re thinking — that’s a LOT of sugar between the sauce and the topping… But everything in moderation, right?! It’s not like we’re eating this on an everyday basis. That’s not saying I wouldn’t if I thought I’d still be able to fit into my skinny jeans, though!
Individual Grape Salad Cups
For a large gathering, I typically just spread the grape salad out in a 9×13″ dish to maximize the salad to topping ratio. But since I was making it today for a (virtual) baby shower, I thought it would be fun to make individual grape salad cups. So I just spooned the grape salad into individual bowls, and then sprinkled the topping over each one. Are they cute or what?
More smash hit potluck salads:
- Pea Salad — This totally easy pea salad recipe is filled with sweet peas, crispy bacon, roasted peanuts (so good!), chopped celery, and diced red onion, all dressed in a sweet and tangy sour cream/mayo dressing.
- Orzo Pasta Salad — Gorgeous red and yellow cherry tomatoes, bright parsley, and vibrant basil, along with a dose of fresh lemon zest and juice marry together with orzo pasta to make the perfect side dish to share at your next gathering.
- Hot German Potato Salad — Guests will flip for the tangy coarse Dijon apple cider vinegar dressing, along with the crispy fried bacon bits in this yummy German potato salad.
- Broccoli Slaw with Ramen Noodles — this is my favorite broccoli ramen noodle salad, light and flavorful with a touch of added sweetness.